We are so close to the finish line, but with the end in sight, covid-related tension is at an all-time high. I can recall at least six separate articles published in the past week in which psychologists were interviewed by national publications to confirm our suspicion that everyone in the nation is hitting a “pandemic wall” this month.
As a massage therapist in the twilight of Covid, it has been a pleasure to care for people who have been stuck in their houses for months, working from home crunched up at their kitchen tables or other ad hoc home offices. It is satisfying to unwind these knots of tension in the same way it is soothing to watch a hot knife cut through butter, and the care that we have given at Sacred Hour for the last several months has carried with it a sense of duty it never did before because of the unique confluence of physical and emotional tension created by the circumstances.
We owe it to ourselves to celebrate all the little things and the milestones, and our Lakewood location offers a unique opportunity to celebrate our health and our accomplishments at once by enjoying a spa service with a sidecar of bubbly. Tribu is a pitch-perfect combo that meets so many Covid-era requirements: safe, private, clean, partially outdoors, and relaxing, and I am so glad that in this moment, we are able to help so many of our clients celebrate safely.
Most of the time I come into your email box with helpful suggestions to deepen your self-care practice or new ways to find time and space for yourself, and otherwise nice notes from your massage therapist. Since I started writing this blog, I have considered all the ways my friends’ work and home lives (and all their stressors) might look like yours, and translate my advice to them to fit a wider audience. But when it comes to the unique experience of parenting amid the coronavirus, I find myself at a loss. I am not a mother yet, but the acts of heroism and sacrifice I have seen out of my mom’s friends have inspired in me a sense of hope for what comes next, and some curiosity about how they are making all of this work. Parents always walk the tight rope, but right now you are doing it while spinning plates.
The first thing your mother’s doctor did after you were born was place your tiny, brand new body on your mother’s chest, and through the first few days of your life one of your parents’ many jobs was to take turns taking off their shirts to hold you. This practice is casually called “kangaroo care,” making it sound silly but it’s serious business. Touch is how we let newborn babies know that we love them, and numerous studies have been done on how skin contact as an infant develops serotonin and oxytocin pathways in us, helping us form healthy bonds and develop trust in others as adults. Being touched, by this metric, is literally how we learn to love each other and experience joy on a chemical level.